An article appearing in yesterday’s Boston Globe suggests a new trend among young adults: meditation. Taking a break from the demands of Facebook and Twitter, young people are increasingly turning to meditation workshops and retreats to combat stress and refocus their attention. Institutions offering meditation classes, such as Insight Meditation Center (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, have seen a steady rise in the number of young adult applicants in the past few years. As Globe contributor Nandini Jayakrishna reports:

Meditation groups say an increasing number of young adults are signing up for retreats and classes, seeking a temporary escape, a haven to reconnect with their thoughts. “Young people are much more stressed out than people 20, 30 years ago,’’ said Rebecca Bradshaw, one of the retreat leaders who also works as a psychotherapist. “We have a fast-paced and alienating culture.’’

And if studies are any indicator of this trend’s success, then meditation exercises may find a permanent place in academic institutions where pressure and distractions often lead to increased stress. Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Mass. General Hospital, studied the brains of 30 young adults, before and after an eight-week meditation course, and found:

…the results showed that in most participants, the portion of the brain that responds to fear, anger, and stress—the amygdala—became smaller. In animals, the amygdala has been shown to get larger in stressful situations

Read the rest of the article here.

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